Thursday, January 8, 2015

Out of Season

Minus 1 degree when I woke up this morning. The unheated porch, where container plants are supposed to be protected while they winter over, is 25 degrees.

This is cold, but last winter was tough on many plants for a long, extended time, and the two rounded heath shrubs along the front walk were very hard hit. In early April last year they emerged from winter brown, desiccated and dead looking.

They are Erica darleyensis 'Ghost Hills' and March or April is their season to bloom with tiny pink flowers all over. But they did not bloom -- they were barely alive.

However, they went on to recover, and were tidy green buns by summer, no worse for the wear. Their complete revival was surprising.

Now this surprises me too -- they are blooming in January! This is way out of sync.

They both are covered in flowers, just covered, and looking grimly cheery on a winter day.

They look so out of season blooming under the Christmas wreaths which are still up (I'll take them down soon. I promise)

Because they were prevented from blooming while they recovered from their terrible winterburn last year, are they now confused about the season? Will they bloom as they are supposed to next April?

Erica is sometimes called winter heath, but that means they bloom in late winter, or early spring in the colder part of their range, which is what we are here in zone 5. 

I don't think it means they should be flowering so profusely while the Christmas wreaths are still up.

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